Marketing Awards Blog

How Makovsky Repositioned a Traditional Ad Medium for Digital Success

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Wed, Oct 30, 2013 @ 04:25 PM

Makovsky Integrated Communications received the first-ever Grand Stevie Award for Interactive Services Agency of the Year in The 2013 American Business Awards, the top business awards program in the U.S.A.  (Entry to The 2014 American Business Awards is now open. Find out more here.)  Here we look at what winning the Grand Stevie has meant to the company; and at Makovsky’s work for MediScripts, which earned them two Gold Stevies in the Marketing Awards categories of the 2013 ABAs for Online Marketing Campaign of the Year and for Business-to-Business Marketing Campaign of the Year.

When Timothy Kane, Makovsky’s Executive Vice President, Digital Branding, heard that his firm had received the 2013 Grand Stevie for Interactive Services Agency of the Year, he was both delighted and surprised.

Timothy Kane “It was especially gratifying because we’ve made a major effort to build our integrated and interactive capabilities,” said Tim. “In fact, I joined the firm specifically to establish a digital practice. This Grand Stevie is a wonderful acknowledgement that we are accomplishing our goal.”

MediScripts’ Marketing Challenge

Tim was the executive in charge of Makovsky’s multiple Stevie Award-winning MediScripts marketing campaign. “For nearly 20 years, MediScripts had enjoyed an almost effortless increase in sales and profits,” he explained.  “MediScripts’ personalized prescription pads were the perfect way for pharma companies to put their messages right in physicians’ hands at the exact point of prescription.”

But then everything changed.

A Shift to Digital Channels

In recent years, pharma marketers have been shifting an increasing percentage of their marketing dollars away from traditional marketing vehicles and into digital channels. Younger brand managers began to dismiss MediScripts as just another tchotchke.

Makovsky’s challenge was to find a way to move MediScripts out of that tchotchke graveyard and into the world of multichannel marketing.

Introducing a New Medium

The first step was to reposition MediScripts as an actual advertising medium:

MediScripts. The most engaging medium. The agency then redesigned MediScripts’ brand identity, with a modern proprietary font and an icon specifically designed for use in digital applications.

Next, Makovsky suggested a shift in targeting. Over the years, MediScripts had aimed the majority of its marketing efforts toward senior brand marketers at the major pharmaceutical companies. Makovsky suggested broadening their targeting strategy to include younger brand managers, agency media planners, and agency creative directors. Why? Because brand managers control the budget; media planners control the buy; and creative directors control the campaign idea.

The new MediScripts launched in September 2011:

  • A new MediScripts website featured separate user interface pathways for its three targets: Brand Managers, Media Planners, and Creative Directors. (This award winning website won a Silver Stevie in the website awards categories of The 2013 American Business Awards.)
  • A campaign of provocative digital ads confronted the conventional media wisdom. Headlines like "What ad is more effective than any ad on this site?" drove MediScripts’ targets to the new website in record numbers.
  • Erez Lapsker, the young CEO of MediScripts, became the public face of the brand, authoring bylined articles, white papers, and podcasts, and hosting a Marketing Agency Happy Hour with representatives from key organizations.
  • Feature articles in major pharma marketing publications such as Med Ad News, PM360, and PharmaVOICE repositioned the company and legitimized point-of-prescription advertising.

From Antiquated to Innovative

Makovsky’s work for the new MediScripts produced immediate results. In the first 90 days of the campaign:

  • Website traffic shot up by 120%; unique visits increased over 80%;
  • Six feature articles and a corporate announcement produced 65 million media impressions;
  • The podcast was downloaded 765 times by key targets and the white paper 104 times;
  • The advertising produced historic click-through rates—as high as 4,800% above industry norms.

But there was one final—and unexpected—result. MediScripts, once considered an antiquated company with an irrelevant value proposition, was named PM360’s Most Innovative Company of the Year, for its ability to show value within the digital space and convey measurable engagement.

Tim summarized it this way: “The hardest part of any digital campaign is how to measure its success.  Not only was MediScripts able to see an increase in meetings and sales, but also the campaign paid for itself almost immediately.”

About Timothy Kane
Timothy Kane is Executive Vice President, Digital Branding at Makovsky Integrated Communications.  In his thirty-year career as an award-winning writer, designer, and marketing strategist, Tim has developed a unique perspective on the value of branding. "The market always rewards strength," he says. "And strength is revealed through communications." 

About Makovsky Integrated Communications
Kenneth D. Makovsky launched the firm in 1979 with a simple philosophy: “There is no task so difficult that it can’t be accomplished by a team of smart people working in harmony.” That mantra holds true more than 30 years later. Though many of Makovsky’s people have big agency and big brand credentials on their résumés, everyone shares an entrepreneurial mindset, infusing everything the company does with a sense of urgency and total commitment to results. That fosters a culture of collaboration, bound by a shared dedication to exceed clients’ expectations.  For more information visit: http://www.makovsky.com/

Tags: makovsky, communications awards, business awards, marketing awards, stevie awards, agency of the year

How to Craft Your Marketing Plan for 2014

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Wed, Oct 30, 2013 @ 04:07 PM

Ruwena Healy, CEO of Marketing 24/7, Inc., in Trussville, Alabama, USA chaired the final judging committee for the Communications and Marketing Awards categories in the 2013 Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the world's top honors for women executive, entrepreneurs, and the organizations they run. Her company won the Gold Stevie for Low Budget Communications Campaign of the Year in the 2012 Stevies for women. Here she applies her own award-winning marketing expertise to provide some tips for marketers on planning for 2014.

Like many companies, you are probably in the midst of preparing your strategic plans for 2014. Successful business leaders understand that in order to anticipate a profitable upcoming year, you have to plan.

Ruwena HealyIf you are struggling with the planning process for your marketing and social media, or need a few ideas about how to implement a plan going forward, here are a few important tips to keep in mind:

1. Figure out where you stand.

It may seem obvious, but in order for you to move forward, you have to figure out where you are right now. This means taking a serious look at the inner workings of your marketing and social media plan. Conducting an internal and external audit of where your business really is—and not where you think it is—will give you a true picture of where you stand. Now would also be a good time to examine the strengths and weaknesses of your business. What are you doing right and what have you done that hasn’t worked?

2. What are you trying to accomplish?

Too often, businesses think that if they advertise everywhere and post everything on social media, they will magically receive countless leads, gain more loyal customers, and increase their bottom line. In order to craft the right message to get concerted results, you must identify what outcome you are looking for and then proceed to target the right market with the right message through the right medium.

3. Identify your target market and plan how to reach them.

The best way to identify your target market is by investing the time to create a buyer persona. A buyer persona is an example of a real person you need to influence crafted from information you retrieve from interviews you conduct with customers or potential customers, or from website and social media analytics you collect from your website or social media business page. For example, you can gather the analytics from your Facebook page to find out the exact age group, demographics, and gender of the individuals who visit your page the most. From this information, create a persona of an individual within that median group and make a plan that targets your message toward him/her to gain more engagement and interest in your business. Understanding who your clients are will help you serve their needs and keep them coming back.

4. Have clear objectives and goals and research, research, research.

Be specific about your own objectives and goals. Do they align with your business’ mission and priorities? How will you get there? Which team members will be accountable for implementation? What are your competitors doing? Research is a critical component that too often is left out of the planning process. Research is a continual part of the process that you have to take time to achieve if you want your overall plan to be succinct and, most of all, successful.

5. Evaluate.

You’re not done: You must evaluate! Put benchmarks in place (i.e. quarterly) to review what you’ve done, measure your success, research some more, and evaluate your successes and failures.

Conclusion
Strategic planning is a vital part of any business and if you want to use marketing and social media to help brand your business, you need to take the time to think things through and get the most out of your time and resources. Remember the old saying: “Plan your work and work your plan!”

About Ruwena Healy
Ruwena Healy is the CEO of Marketing 24/7, Inc., a full-service marketing, branding, and public relations firm, which she founded 8 years ago. Marketing 24/7 has a diverse client list and is one of Birmingham, Alabama’s Top 10 PR firms. Marketing 24/7 and Ruwena have garnered numerous international, national, state, and local business awards. In addition to recently being awarded “Honorable Mention” in the international Enterprising Women of the Year Award by Enterprising Women magazine, Ruwena won a Gold Stevie in the 2012 Stevie Awards for Women In Business. Ruwena was recently named 1st runner up in the Birmingham Business Journal’s Social Madness competition that showcased a company’s social media savvy by gaining new followers and encouraging follower engagement. 

Ruwena continues to gain popularity as a LinkedIn expert and trainer (her LinkedIn profile was among the Top 1% of the Most Viewed profiles in 2012). She is a sought-after speaker, trainer, and lecturer, and has also presented numerous programs on branding, social media, public relations, and how to successfully get the word out about your business. Ruwena maintains a marketing blog at MasterMarketing247.com and her articles have appeared in PR News’ 2011 Crisis Management Guidebook, Birmingham Business Journal, The Birmingham News, Alabama Business News, and al.com. Ruwena is an active member of the Birmingham, Alabama community:  she is a member of The Women’s Network; a member of the Board of Directors of the Public Relations Council of Alabama’s Birmingham Chapter; a former Board member and currently a member of the Public Relations Society of America Alabama Chapter; and a current member of Alabama Women In Business.

Ruwena has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from the University of Florida and a Masters in Business Administration from Florida State University. Today, with twin boys that are seven years old, Ruwena gives her time to fundraisers for their school and as a leader in the Cub Scouts.

About Marketing 24/7
Marketing 24/7, Inc. works with a diverse client list of companies, entrepreneurs, and professionals to offer unique expertise in personal branding and company branding. The firm has proven itself with marketing and business development effectiveness for the purpose of increasing revenue and profits.  For more information go to: www.marketing247.net

Tags: communications awards, business awards, marketing awards, stevie awards, women awards, women in business awards, Ruwena Healy

Engage Your Customers: Social Media Advice From a Stevie Awards Chair

Posted by Liz Dean on Tue, Apr 02, 2013 @ 01:33 PM

Carmen Yazejian is President of Network9, a Web design firm in New York City, and Chair of the Committee for Final Judging of the marketing awards categories in The 2013 (11th Annual) American Business Awards, the top business awards in the United States. (April 24 is the last day that late entries will be accepted with payment of a late fee per entry. If you haven't already done so, you can request your entry kit here and it will be emailed to you right away.)

Carmen Yazejian, President, Network9As the president of Network9, you regularly post on your own blog.  What advice do you have for businesses on beefing up their own social media?
Be proud of who you are, and know that you have something unique to contribute. Present a point of view only you can express, be entertaining, and have fun!

What item of news recently caught your eye and why?
I only read good news. It helps keep me positive and have continued faith in the good in people.

What is your favorite business app?
I have Zite on my iPad. It gets smarter about what I like to read, and does the legwork for me. I get to read a ton of great articles all in one place. 

If you were to meet young people starting out in Web design, what career advice would you give them?
Learn your craft well: Know the technology and study good examples. Intern or work with a good studio. Always remember you are in service to your client, and place their success above all. Be respectful, read between the lines, communicate clearly and often, and be honest. Always give clients what they ask for, but go a step further and give them what they don’t always know they need.

As someone at the top of your profession, what keeps you inspired or makes you hit the ground running in the morning?
I enjoy working on new and diverse projects with challenging goals, being on the hunt for new technologies, and solving at least one problem each day. Sharing new ideas with brilliant people keeps everything fresh.

About Carmen Yazejian:
“Design is just problem-solving and communication,” says Network9 President Carmen Yazejian. Raised in a close-knit community of multigenerational families—a model echoed in Network9’s Manhattan studio—she studied fashion design and co-founded two companies: Harrow Clothiers, a line of English school blazers that graced Saks Fifth Avenue’s windows; and Pirelli Bags, artist portfolios made of rubber that rocked the art supply market. One marriage and two kids later, she retooled her brain to think digital, fell in love with the Web, and founded Network9 in 2005.  It is now one of the fastest-growing agencies in the country. 

About Network9:
Network9
is a New York-based Web design firm at the cutting-edge intersection of traditional marketing and online communication. Founded in 2005 by former fashion designer Carmen Yazejian, its customer-centric approach brings clients of all sizes a highly talented team with individual expertise in brand development, web and graphic design, search engine optimization (SEO), copywriting, print work, and more.

Tags: business awards, marketing awards, American business awards, stevie awards, Carmen Yazejian, Network9, social media tips

Go Viral: How to Get 1 Million Views on YouTube, From a Stevie® Awards Winner

Posted by Liz Dean on Thu, Mar 21, 2013 @ 12:56 PM

Thai Life Insurance Plc., in Bangkok, Thailand, received the Gold Stevie® Award for Consumer Advertising Campaign of the Year in the marketing awards categories of The 2012 International Business Awards, the world's premier business awards competition. (10 April is the early-bird entry deadline for the 2013 IBAs, take advantage of discounted entry fees for those entries submitted by 10 April, request your entry kit here. Interested in similar business award categories? The Stevie Awards now manage the IPRA Golden World Awards, which will be accepting entries through 20 May.) We look at how Thai Life’s ad campaign touched the hearts of millions.

Thai Life Insurance Plc. headquartersPopulation statistics from a 2010 survey found that Thailand's population composition has changed significantly over the last 10 years. Thai society is aging and the 0-14 age group has proportionately decreased compared to seniors aged 60 years and up. This trend is a consequence of the decline in Thailand’s birthrate and the fact that Thais are living longer, higher-quality lives.

Because of this, many life insurance companies in Thailand have shifted their focus in order to communicate with seniors and to create customized insurance products for them.

A Different Approach
While also providing insurance products for seniors, Thai Life chose a different approach to their competitors: they focused on employed adults and their duty to their elderly parents.

Working with Ogilvy & Mather Thailand, Thai Life created an advertising campaign that communicated the message to working adults that purchasing life insurance for their parents would be a way for them to repay the kindness that their elderly parents had showed to them.

This strategy has been a powerful one. Today’s employed adults devote ever larger amounts of their life to work, leaving less time for expressing their love for their families and parents. The reality of modern life in Thailand has meant that long-standing traditions of parental care and family relationships are now crumbling.

This trend has adversely affected Thai Life’s core business. The family unit is the main source of business for the company, with most people purchasing life insurance as a source of security for the family.

Thai Life insurance decided to use the issues of gratitude, and of faithfully repaying a parent’s kindness, as a way of getting through to their target audience.   Thai Life’s advertising campaign helped its customers to appreciate the value of taking care of their parents’ well being.

The Value of Life
Thai Life took an emotional approach. They used the story of a single deaf-mute father desperately trying to bring up a troubled teenage daughter. The climax of the story proved how, in the end, money or material possessions are not means to regain a daughter’s love: it’s the way the father proves his love towards her. The message stimulates the audience into thinking about the value of life (the insurance moment) and to get people to take action by “taking care of those who take care of you.” 

Excellent Results
When the “Silence of Love” campaign was uploaded to YouTube it received over a million views in the first week.  It also received over 730,000 shares on Facebook.  The campaign generated 7,153 phone inquiries during August-September 2011 resulting in over 1,154 new policies, with a premium value of approximately US $303,125, being sold by telesales during that same period. Additionally, over 962 new policies with a premium value of approximately US $2,758,900 were sold during the period July-December 2011 via sales agents. 

Awards
The Thai Life “Silence of Love” campaign has received a number of awards, including Best TV Campaign over 90 seconds, Best Director, and Best Copywriting from the 2011 Bangkok Art Directors’ awards show, and a Bronze Award in the Corporate Image category from the 2011 Spikes Asia Awards.  Additionally, “Silence of Love” was named Top Talk-About Advertisement in the 2012 Mthai Top Talk-About Awards, organized by www.mthai.com.

About Thai Life Insurance Plc:
Thai Life Insurance Plc. is proud to be a leader in providing unique products and services. It's the first Thai-owned insurance to support Thai people by offering products that meet the client needs. This is confirmed by the company’s mission to be "More Than Just Life Insurance."

Tags: business awards, marketing awards, International business awards, stevie awards, Thai Life Insurance Plc

8 Tips to Spice Up Your Email Marketing, From a Multi-Stevie® Awards Winner

Posted by Liz Dean on Thu, Feb 07, 2013 @ 11:54 AM

Janine Popick, CEO and Founder of VerticalResponse in San Francisco, California, USA, has won multiple Stevie® Awards, most recently for Executive of the Year in Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations in the management awards categories of The 2012 American Business Awards, the premier business awards competition in the U.S.A. (The entry deadline for the 2013 ABAs is March 27, request your entry kit here and it will be emailed to you right away.)

Janine Popick, CEO, VerticalResponseNow that the novelty of a new year has come and gone, you may have slipped into some old bad habits with your email marketing. Today, I’m going to share 8 things that will spice up your email marketing in 2013.

  1. Facebook—More Than Status Updates: You have got a Facebook page, right? Well, it’s super easy to set up an email address sign-up form on your Facebook page, and nearly every email marketing service provider has instructions for this. Plus, while you’re driving people to check out your Facebook page, give them a reason—like a sale—for supplying you with their email address.
  1. Email + Social Media = Power Couple: Email and social media need to be thought of as a great team, like Jay-Z and Beyonce. If you utilize one and not the other, you could be missing out on some killer traffic back to your website or blog. Include social media icons linking to your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Pinterest sites in all your emails and newsletters. These give your readers another way to engage and connect with your business. Want even more engagement? Share your emails on your social networks each time you send one.
  1. Start at the Top with Pre-header: We’ve all read a million times that your subject line is one of the most important parts of your email. But, the pre-header (i.e., the first line of text above the body of your email) serves as a wingman, or secondary subject line. It shows up in the mobile version of your email, and provides more content, which can get more people opening your emails. Use a pre-header regularly and see how it impacts your open rate. 
  1. Kick Dull to the Curb: If your subject lines are a snooze-fest, then using a pre-header won’t help. If you’re sending out a monthly newsletter and your subject line is “February 2013 Newsletter,” you can certainly do better. Read the content of your newsletter. What’s the most interesting thing that stands out? What do you think would make someone stop, read, and click-through to your website? Craft your subject line using that info. No more dull subject lines. Ever.
  1. ALT Text Has Got It Going On: Follow my advice from Kick Dull to the Curb and add some zing. ALT text is the copy you place “behind” an image (instead of the default tag) that displays if your recipient’s email browser turns images off by default. For example, instead of leaving your image’s super-exciting default tag of “dogfood3.JPG,” you could write: “Get 25% off all dog food until 3/31/13!” This will give your readers more context if their images are turned off, and prompt them to enable images to get the scoop.
  1. Target Practice: It’s time to do more with less. Take portions of your audience based on what they’re doing (or not doing) and send them a message that means something to them. Here’s an example: Got a winery? I bet you know who bought Pinot Noir in the last 6 months. Send an exclusive offer to your Pinot fans and see if you get better results than just sending it to everyone on your list. Give ‘em a killer deal to try a new varietal at a steep discount.
  1. How Often Do You Do It? Have you been sending monthly or weekly emails, at the same time, every time? Time to shake it up! Try to mail more often, or maybe less. It’s simple and easy to test: Just take a portion of your list (say 20% for trial purposes) and send two newsletters a month instead of one. See if you get a lift in opens and clicks, or a decrease in unsubscribes.
  1. Content Rules the Roost: You know your business inside and out, and everything that makes it interesting and unique, so share this in your emails, on your blog, everywhere. And use your content to your advantage. You can take blog posts you’ve created with a common theme and turn them into a helpful guide, or take a few guides you’ve written and turn them into an eBook. At VerticalResponse we do a number of webinars with a common theme, like Facebook, then send out a bundle of them to our prospects. By providing useful information, we help potential customers; and when it's time to look for an email and social media provider, we hope they’ll remember us.

By getting back to the basics with these 8 Email Marketing tips you can succeed with your subscribers, prospects, and customers in 2013 and beyond.

Did you enjoy this post? If so, sign up for the free VR Buzz weekly newsletter and check out the VerticalResponse Marketing Blog.

About Janine Popick:
Janine Popick is the CEO and founder of VerticalResponse, a leading provider of self-service email, social media, event marketing, online surveys, and direct mail solutions for businesses and non-profits. She has won the Stevie Award for Best Entrepreneur in the Stevie Awards for Women in Business every year since 2008. Janine recently won the U.S. Small Business Administration award for Small Business Person of the Year and was named a 2012 Small Biz Influencer Champion by Small Biz Trends. Janine brings over 20 years of experience leading direct and Internet marketing programs for some of the biggest brands in technology and entertainment. Follow her on Twitter at @janinepopick.

About VerticalResponse:
VerticalResponse Inc. provides a full suite of self-service marketing solutions for small businesses, including email marketing, social media marketing, event marketing, online surveys, and direct-mail marketing. Its mission is to empower small businesses and non-profit organizations to easily and affordably create, manage, and analyze their own marketing campaigns. Users can benefit from a wide variety of features via a single dashboard, including more than 700 free email-marketing templates; social media management tools to create, schedule, and publish content, and engage with followers; and robust reporting so that they can understand overall marketing success. VerticalResponse is headquartered in San Francisco, California. For more information visit www.verticalresponse.com.

Tags: Email Marketing, Janine Popick, business awards, American business awards, stevie awards, management awards, VerticalResponse

Two Techniques for Securing Target Accounts, From a Stevie Awards Winner

Posted by Liz Dean on Wed, Dec 05, 2012 @ 12:49 PM

Babcock & Jenkins of Portland, Oregon, USA, won the Stevie® Award for Outbound Marketing Program of the Year in the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the world's top business awards for contact center, customer service, business development, and sales professionals. (The final entry deadline for the 2013 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service is January 15. If you haven't already done so, you can request your entry kit here and it will be emailed to you right away.) Here we look at how they helped their client, CenturyLink, break through the clutter with a targeted mailer.

Denise Barnes, President of Babcock & JenkinsCenturyLink, the third largest telecommunications company in the United States, needed to expand its market share by connecting with senior technology executives at top-tier companies. CenuryLink faced many challenges including:

  • Many of the targeted companies were in markets where CenturyLink had little or no brand recognition.
  • The audience was a difficult one to connect with: Skeptical, no-nonsense, discerning, and busy. About the last thing they had time for was a marketing message.
  • The executive-level decision-makers that CenturyLink needed to reach were not going to give them the time of day unless CenturyLink could somehow break through to them with something that would not only grab their attention, but also deliver relevant, valuable information.

Collaborating closely with the sales and marketing teams at CenturyLink, marketing awards winner, Babcock & Jenkins developed a pilot campaign with the following objectives:

  1. To drive engagement with targeted prospects, and
  2. To deliver qualified leads that result in sales meetings.

Breaking Through the Clutter

CenturyLink Targeted Account Program (TAP) mailer achieved its objectives through two main techniques:

  1. The strategy was to make every interaction personal and truly relevant. Each prospect received a high-end architectural tube in the mail with a customized network map showing what CenturyLink could do to connect their specific locations and improve network efficiency.

    The mailer broke through the clutter with impressive, blueprint-sized, customized-network diagrams that the CenturyLink sales engineers were developing to help close contracts. These diagrams not only showed specifically how CenturyLink could address a prospect’s unique network challenges, but also how committed the telecommunications company was to providing great, personalized service.

  2. A hand-written sticky note on the network diagram pointed to a personalized micro site, accessed via a personalized URL, where the recipient of the mailer could drill down into a 40-page recommendation specific to his or her company. The site featured a welcome video from CenturyLink’s CTO. The site also enabled prospects to see who their Account Manager would be and how to contact them.

    Tracking on the site enabled passive profiling, giving sales insight into the prospect’s interaction with the web pages. A sales alert notified reps when their target responded to the site. For non-responders, a series of coordinated direct mail, email, and phone touches reminded them to go online and view their proposal.

Whopping ROI

The campaign achieved the following results:

  1. Engagement
    63% of the targeted accounts (19 of 53) started a dialogue with
    sales.
  2. Pipeline
    26% of targets (11 of 53) were converted, meaning they were funneling revenue into the pipeline.
  3. ROI
    The company's ROI became a whopping 8: 1.
  4. Sales and Marketing Happiness
    A CenturyLink sales rep told us: “This is the best marketing program I’ve seen in my 15 years in this business.” (Yes, it’s a nice quote, but more importantly it shows that the CenturyLink sales team had bought into the marketing strategy 100%. That is critical to making a targeted accounts campaign successful.)

Babcock & Jenkins went on to roll out the CenturyLink TAP mailer to targeted accounts in other regions and with select partners. The B2B marketer is also planning to scale the program to a larger number of accounts, and to extend it to customers for cross-sell and up-sell opportunities. Finally, there are plans to test and fine-tune the campaign with new tactics and touches.

Denise Barnes, President of Babcock & Jenkins, feels that this is the most exciting time for the marketing industry in the last 50 years.  On winning the Stevie Award, Denise commented: "The aim of our agency is to make heroes of our clients, and winning the Stevie Award for Outbound Marketing Program of the Year was the best accolade possible for CenturyLink's highly successful TAP mailer.  This recognition is made even more rewarding by the knowledge that the Stevie Awards are judged by sales and customer service professionals in a wide range of industries."

About Denise Barnes
As President of Babcock & Jenkins (BNJ), Denise oversees all aspects of the agency, including strategic planning and day-to-day operations. She joined BNJ in 1998 and is responsible for the groundwork that has enabled the company’s success. With more than 25 years marketing experience, her previous successes include launching more than 20 commercial web sites, including Billboard®, LIFE® Magazine, Sports Illustrated®, and DrRuth.com. She also helped the emerging start-up E-Machines to grow from ground to $50 million within five years. 

About Babcock & Jenkins:
Babcock & Jenkins delivers authentic, unique, relevant stories on behalf of its clients in order to build brand, drive demand, and accelerate pipeline. Babcock & Jenkins engages audiences in meaningful conversations to form and preserve lasting, profitable relationships. For more information go to: http://www.bnj.com/.

About Century Link
Century Link is the third largest telecommunications company in the United States and is recognized as a leader in the network services market by technology industry analyst firms. The company is a global leader in cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solutions for enterprise customers. Century Link provides data, voice and managed services in local, national and select international markets through its high-quality advanced fiber optic network and multiple data centers for businesses and consumers. The company also offers advanced entertainment services under the CenturyLinkTM PrismTM TV and DIRECTV brands. Headquartered in Monroe, La., CenturyLink is an S&P 500 company and is included among the Fortune 500 list of America's largest corporations. For more information, visit www.centurylink.com.

Tags: business awards, marketing awards, Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, Babcock & Jenkins, Outbound Marketing Program of the Year, CenturyLink, Denise Barnes

50 Ways to Win Marketing Awards in The 2013 American Business Awards

Posted by Liz Dean on Mon, Nov 26, 2012 @ 03:29 PM

There are 50 marketing awards categories in The 2013 American Business Awards, the premier business awards competition in the U.S.A., to help you highlight your marketing successes. (Wednesday, December 12, is the second early-bird entry deadline for the 2013 ABAs, request your entry kit here  and you'll receive it right away.)

Our Marketing Campaign of the Year Categories for Industries include:

  • AccountingThe American Business Awards
  • Advertising, Marketing, & Public Relations
  • Aerospace & Defense
  • Automotive & Transport Equipment
  • Banking
  • Business Services
  • Chemicals
  • Computer Hardware
  • Computer Software
  • Computer Services
  • Conglomerates
  • Consumer Products - Durables
  • Consumer Products - Non-Durables
  • Diversified Services
  • Electronics
  • Energy
  • Financial Services
  • Food & Beverage
  • Health Products & Services
  • Hospitality & Leisure
  • Internet/New Media
  • Insurance
  • Legal
  • Manufacturing
  • Materials & Construction
  • Media & Entertainment
  • Metals & Mining
  • Non-Profit Organizations
  • Real Estate
  • Retail
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Telecommunications
  • Transportation
  • Utilities

Our Marketing Campaign of the Year - Specialty Categories include:

  • Brand Experience of the Year (New category for 2013)
  •  Business-to-Business Advertising Campaign of the Year
  • Business-to-Business Marketing Campaign of the Year
  • Consumer Advertising Campaign of the Year
  • Consumer Marketing Campaign of the Year
  • Mobile Marketing Campaign of the Year
  • Online Marketing Campaign of the Year
  • New Product or Service Introduction of the Year (New category for 2013)
  • Retail/Merchandising Marketing Campaign of the Year
  • Small-Budget Marketing Campaign of the Year (<$3 million)
  • Viral Marketing Campaign of the Year

Our Marketing Professional Categories include:

  • Marketing or Advertising Agency of the Year
  • Marketing Department of the Year
  • Marketing Team of the Year
  • Marketing Executive of the Year
  • Marketer of the Year (for non-executive marketing professionals)

If you can't make the December 12, 2012 deadline, March 27, 2013 is the entry deadline and April 24, 2013 is the last day that late entries will be accepted with payment of a late fee. Finalists will be announced on May 8, 2013. Entry details are available at www.StevieAwards.com/ABA

Looking for more ways to showcase your organization? There are a number of other ABA categories that should be of interest to communications professionals, including many of the corporate literature awards, annual report awards, website awards, video awards, and live event awards categories.

Tags: communications awards, business awards, website awards, corporate literature awards, marketing awards, annual report awards, marketing campaign of the year, marketing award

9 Marketing Awards in the 2012 Stevie® Awards for Women in Business

Posted by Liz Dean on Wed, Aug 08, 2012 @ 12:23 PM

The entry deadline for the 2012 Stevie® Awards for Women in Business is August 29, and we thought it would be helpful for communications professionals if we highlighted the many marketing awards categories available. (Don't fret if you can't make the entry deadline, entries for the 2012 Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the world's premier business awards for women executives, entrepreneurs, and the organizations they run, can still be submitted through the final entry deadline of September 28 with a late fee of $35.00; request your entry kit today.)

Stevie Awards for Women in BusinessOur marketing award categories for Marketing Campaign of the Year which recognizes excellence in marketing by or for women since July 1, 2011 include:

  1. Business-to-Business Advertising Campaign of the Year
  2. Business-to-Business Marketing Campaign of the Year
  3. Consumer Advertising Campaign of the Year
  4. Consumer Marketing Campaign of the Year
  5. Mobile Marketing Campaign of the Year
  6. Online Marketing Campaign of the Year
  7. Retail/Merchandising Marketing Campaign of the Year
  8. Small-Budget Marketing Campaign of the Year (<$3 million/€2 million)
  9. Viral Marketing Campaign of the Year

Entries in these categories require an essay of up to 500 words describing the nominated campaign: its genesis, development, planning, commission, and performance to date, a biography of the leader of the team that developed the campaign (up to 100 words), and optional (but highly recommended), a collection of supporting files and web addresses that you may upload to our server to support your entry and provide more background information to the judges.

Other website awards, blog awards, app awards, and video awards that may be of interest include:

  • Website of the Year:
    Recognizing excellence in web sites created and maintained by or for women. There is no eligibility period requirement for this category - it doesn't matter when the site was first published.

  • Blog of the Year:
    Recognizing excellence in individual or company blogs created by or for women. There is no eligibility period requirement for this category - it doesn't matter when the blog was first published.

  • Smartphone or Tablet App of the Year:
    Recognizing excellence in smartphone and tablet apps produced by or for women. There is no eligibility period requirement for this category - it doesn't matter when the app was first published.

  • Video of the Year:
    Recognizing excellence in videos produced by or for women since July 1, 2011.

These categories only require an essay of up to 100 words describing the nominated work: its purpose and results to date, the nominated work itself, which you should upload to our server via the new uploading tool on our online entry form, and optionally, you can provide creative and production credits for the work, such as writers, creative directors, and programmers.

Not sure where to start? All entries are submitted directly online through your account. You can begin by registering here.

Tags: business awards, app awards, video awards, website awards, marketing awards, stevie awards for women in business, blog awards, marketing award

7 Tips on Building a Global Brand, From a Stevie Awards Judge

Posted by Liz Dean on Thu, Jun 28, 2012 @ 11:49 AM

Allyson Stewart-Allen is the Founder & Director of International Marketing Partners in London, United Kingdom, and a member of the committee for final judging of the management awards categories in The 2012 International Business Awards, the world's premier business awards competition. (The final entry deadline for the 2012 IBAs has been extended to July 18. Get your entry kit today.) Here Allyson shares advice on ensuring brand success in the international arena.

Allyson Stewart-Allen Internationalization in a recession can be done—it just takes thorough planning and confidence. Instead of listening to the constant stream of headlines about brands that have failed overseas, let’s replace those with some success stories about the companies that have done it right, that have been methodical, that have adapted and made great profits.

Plan for Success
Research the structure of your target international markets and your competitors.  It is critically important that you know the potential challenges ahead.  Through your research, identify key editorial and press opportunities that can help you become known in your growth markets. 

Consider a tradeshow and arrange meetings in advance with potential buyers. 

Identify cities for growth that will attract your target clients/customers and focus on saturating those.  Focus is the name of the game.

Measure the Market:
If the USA is your target market for expansion, even if the “English” used seems to be the same language as that used in the U.K., it’s important to understand cultural differences.  Try our quiz: Are you ready to work with Americans?

Your expansion will be more likely to succeed if you’ve recognized which aspects of your brand travels well—we call it BrandTravel™—and can adapt to local markets when necessary.  You might want to consider hiring local marketing experts with on-the-ground knowledge.

Here are my top 7 tips to help ensure your brand will succeed in the international arena:

1. Manage “local” and “global”: Managing this dilemma well separates the winners from the mediocre. It is possible to obtain economies of scale while delivering local services or products, as global food and drink brands have learned so well. Zara is one of the few companies in the fashion world to have created ranges specifically for their southern hemisphere markets rather than just selling them past season’s wares from its northern stores.

2. Transfer knowledge: To ensure innovation and profit when opening stores in a new market it is important to transfer what’s been learned from the culture, consumer behaviors, and preferences in each market. Tesco’s Fresh & Easy small-store format in the United States had some costly merchandising hiccups at the start because of the company’s failure to apply the localization lessons gathered from similar expansions into Asian markets.

3. Be resilient: The ability to change processes and manage costs in turbulent economic climates is an essential skill for operations teams and retail business leaders. Some setbacks are to be expected as part of the process of aligning a business to local cultures and tastes.

4. Assume difference: Making assumptions about a target culture is a mistake, as Best Buy, Starbucks, Disneyland Paris, and many others have learned at great cost. Starbucks recently attempted to market its Trenta size (30 oz) drink in the UK—larger than a full bottle of wine­—and this was seen as an overly indulgent American “super-sized” product not fit for European tastes. Coach, however, brought only the US leather goods ranges it knew would appeal to customers at its recently opened Bond Street, London store, while leaving behind the “wristlet” (a small zip wallet with a carrying strap for the wrist) that is so successful in the U.S. market.

5. Innovate through insight: Involve consumers and supply-chain partners in identifying which new technologies, materials, designs, and services can change the business model. Crowdsourcing not only lowers the R&D costs, but also engages your target markets with the knock-on benefit that they will use social media to promote your foresight and engagement.

6. Build the brand: Most consumers are unfamiliar with soon-to-land-here trans-Atlantic brands. Seize this opportunity to (re) position the retailer in a new geography, as Abercrombie & Fitch has so successfully done in the UK. A blank canvas gives a retailer permission to seize a space it might not have been able to in its domestic market. Victoria’s Secret, the mass-market lingerie brand, will soon be launching in the UK and will have a great opportunity to position itself with new customer segments.

7. Assume success: Approach new markets intentionally, not just by licensing or franchising, but also by incorporating this approach as part of the long-term corporate strategy. Too often, expanding businesses treat international growth as a project rather than as a core part of their long-term evolution, choking the initiative of critically important capital and leadership resources. Confidence in an international foray—based, of course, on the thorough research and evidence that supports it—means it will be properly funded and given the management attention it deserves.

About Allyson Stewart-Allen:
Allyson Stewart-Allen, founder of International Marketing Partners, is an internationally recognized marketing advisor, author, speaker, and broadcaster who helps companies grow internationally by guiding them on localizing their brands, behavior, and businesses. An accomplished speaker, broadcaster, and author, Allyson is a frequent guest expert on CNN, CNBC, BBC, and Bloomberg, and Sky News hosted her four-year slot as “The Muse of Marketing.”  Allyson is a regular keynote speaker at business conferences and is a judge for The Stevie® Awards in the U.S. and the U.K.’s Women in Marketing Awards. Originally from Los Angeles, where she earned her MBA under the direct tutelage of Dr. Peter Drucker, Allyson has been based in Europe for more than 25 years and is the co-author of bestselling book Working With Americans.  She remains involved in the academic world via her work as an Associate Fellow at Said Business School, University of Oxford.

About International Marketing Partners:
Founded in 1991 by Allyson Stewart-Allen, International Marketing Partners Ltd. was born on the back of clients asking not only for general advice on how to grow the quality and number of customers in their home and international markets, but also specifically how to localize their products and services so they would be relevant and viable in those markets. Finding clients who were most interested in the know-how of its consulting team members meant the company could, in its early days, draw on the experience of recognized experts in Allyson’s network. International Marketing Partners today still uses this successful model: hand-selecting the right mix of consulting experience to match the goals, strategies, and culture of its clients’ businesses. For more information, visit www.intermarketingonline.com.

Tags: business awards, International business awards, stevie awards, management awards, Allyson Stewart-Allen, International Marketing Partners

4 Reasons to Submit Marketing Awards Entries in The 2012 IBAs

Posted by Liz Dean on Tue, May 29, 2012 @ 03:43 PM

Wednesday, 27 June, is the final entry deadline for The 2012 (Ninth Annual) International Business Awards, the world's premier business awards competition. (If you haven't already done so, you can request your entry kit here and you will receive it right away.) 

We thought it would be helpful for communications professionals if we highlighted four reasons to submit entries to the 2012 IBA marketing awards categories.

  1. Low entry fees.  The Stevie Awards
    The publicity that comes with winning a Stevie® Award is well worth the low entry fees.
  2. Earn industry status.
    Submitting IBA entries is a great way to benchmark your achievements against competitors in your industry.
  3. Impress potential clients.
    Your work will not only be reviewed and honored by peers and competitors, but also by potential clients.  Show off your organization's achievements in the 2012 IBAs.
  4. Global recognition and free publicity.
    Gold Stevie® Award winners will have the opportunity to make a 30-second acceptance speech before an audience of executives from across the world. The ceremony will also be streamed worldwide over the Internet.

Winners of the competition will be celebrated at the ninth annual awards banquet on Monday, 15 October at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Seoul, South Korea. 

The 8th Annual International Business Awards were presented in October 2011 in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates.  Honorees included American Express, Bombardier, Inc., Etisalat, Everything Everywhere, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, Siemens AG, TATA Motors, Tesco Poland, Toyota Motor Corporation, Turk Telekom, and Unilever N.V., among others.  View all 2011 results here

Want more communications awards? There are a number of other IBA categories that should be of interest to communications professionals, including many of the annual report awards and other literature categories, website awards categories, app awards categories, video awards categories, and live event awards categories.

Tags: communications awards, business awards, corporate awards, video awards, website awards, marketing awards, International business awards